Calcium signaling in ocular arterioles

Timothy Curtis, Norman Scholfield, Graham McGeown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Local control of blood flow to the photoreceptors and associated neurons in the retina is largely achieved through changes in tone within the choroidal and retinal arterioles. This is primarily achieved through changes in [Ca2+] within the smooth muscle of these vessels, which regulates cell contraction and vascular constriction. Here we review some aspects of the cell physiology involved in these Ca2+-signaling processes, with particular emphasis on the molecular mechanisms involved. Ca2+-influx across the plasma membrane can occur via a variety of Ca2+-channels, including voltage-operated, store-operated, and receptor-operated channels. Ca2+ may also be released from intracellular stores via RyR-, or IP3R-gated channels in the SR membrane. Using high-speed confocal Ca2+-imaging, we have also demonstrated that the resulting signals are far from homogeneous, with spontaneous activity in retinal arterioles being characterized by both localized Ca2+-sparks and more global Ca2+-waves and oscillations. These signals may be specifically and differentially targeted, for example, to Ca2+-sensitive ion channels (stimulus-excitation coupling), or pathways regulating contraction (stimulus-contraction coupling). Exploring the role of changes in such targeting in disease states will provide exciting opportunities for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Reviews in Eukaryotic Gene Expression
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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